Despite seemingly being built for the hilly one-day classics, Euskaltel captain Samuel Sánchez reveals he might forego them again this year. Three times a podium finisher at the Giro di Lombardia and twice at Fleche Wallonne, Sánchez has time and again missed out on that elusive big win. He skipped them two years ago to channel his energy on the Tour de France, and he reveals he might do so again this spring.
"It's too early to tell (whether I'll take part or not)", the Asturian told Cobbles & Hills. "We'll wait and see how the season develops. But if it's necessary, sure I'll be there. I guess it's only logical that people question why I'm not always taking part in them though. And I accept that some fans question that. But the Classics don't always fit in with my plans for the season. Some times, as was the case in 2010, it was better to rest and recharge for the Tour in July. Back then I skipped them and had a good Tour de France."
The London Olympics will be staged just after the Tour's conclusion this summer, and Samu admits the timing of the race represent a challenge.
"This year we'll see how the season unfolds. As the Olympics quickly follow the Tour, there's not much time for relaxation and preparation this season. All riders are different though: some are able to perform well in both the Classics and the Tour. Albeit, as the years go by, selecting your goals and planning your season becomes more important. For a veteran like myself it's vital."